A hospital in Southwestern Ontario says it has fired 57 employees who failed to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Windsor Regional Hospital says it has also suspended six “professional staff” – people who had privileges to practise at the facility but weren’t employees – on what it describes as a “midterm basis.”
It says 4,155 employees and professional staff, about 98.5 per cent of the work force, complied with its immunization policy.
The hospital says 32 of those who refused to get vaccinated were clinical staff, while 25 were non-clinical.
The hospital set a deadline of Thursday for staffers to get their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, unless they had a medical reason for not getting the shot.
It says 147 staff members who hadn’t received their first dose by Sept. 22 were placed on an unpaid leave for two weeks, as laid out in a policy that was announced on Sept. 3.
Ontario says kids can trick-or-treat this Halloween, with some precautions
Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health says more traditional Thanksgiving and Halloween celebrations can go ahead this year, though with some COVID-19 precautions still in place.
Last year, the province recommended kids in the COVID-19 hot spots of Toronto, Ottawa, Peel and York regions not go trick-or-treating, but this year Dr. Kieran Moore says kids should feel free to go door to door.
He says it should happen outdoors as much as possible, with kids wearing a mask – not a costume mask, not crowding door steps, or shouting too loudly.
Dr. Moore says when celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend, people should use outdoor spaces whenever possible.
When everyone is vaccinated, he says people can gather indoors without masks, but if there are people from multiple households and some guests are unvaccinated, people should wear face coverings and physically distance.
Dr. Moore also says a number of recent outbreaks have been associated with weddings, and he notes that next week proof of vaccination will be required to attend weddings and funerals in meeting and event spaces.
Ontario COVID-19 Numbers
Ontario is reporting 587 new cases of COVID-19 today, and six new deaths.
Health Minister Christine Elliott says 423 of those cases are in people who are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status.
There are 149 people in intensive care units due to COVID-19.
Of those people in intensive care, 12 are fully vaccinated, seven are partially vaccinated, 72 are unvaccinated, and the remaining 58 have an unknown vaccine status.
Today there were 121 new school-related cases reported, with 106 in students and 15 in staff.
Nearly 82 per cent of eligible Ontarians are fully vaccinated and 86.7 per cent have received at least one dose.
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